How these Med Center doors could prevent millions of dollars in damage during a flood

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tropical Storm Allison devastated the Texas Medical Center in 2001, and UT Health's McGovern Medical School was hit especially hard.

An estimated 10 million gallons of water poured into the school's building, leaving the basement completely underwater and the first floor under an additional 18 inches of water. The deluge damaged equipment, destroyed records and interrupted valuable research efforts focused on saving lives.

The school responded quickly, installing 23 massive flood doors intended to protect the facility from severe flooding events. Once closed, inflatable gaskets in the doors create a pressurized, leak-proof seal that keeps water out.

Ahead of Hurricane Harvey's expected landfall, UT has closed the flood doors for the first time since the Memorial Day flooding of 2015.

"Planning and preparation are very instrumental for these kinds of real events. We've made sure our people are trained and understand what needs to be done and when," a UT Health spokesperson said.

In addition to the flood doors, UT also has a berm around the building, a hydrostatic wall that sits a foot above the 500-year flood plan and sump pumps in the event that water does seep in.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff

Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.